Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

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Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby ADMIN » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:01 am

I've watched this a couple of times now and although I liked it more (and noticed more) on subsequent viewings, I've also had time to think about the film's problems.

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Apparently the forecast is for overcast weather with a chance of rain all the bleeding time...

Firstly, and the least of the problems - the character Quorra.
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She won't so much melt your heart as turn it into thousands of little cubes on the floor...

She's a good character and helps give the film some much needed charm but she's also a problem. Towards the end of the film, she's sort of competing with Flynn's disc as the 'MacGuffin' of the film, but that's not the main issue. The issue is that Flynn explains that she can 'change the world'. And if she makes it to the 'real world' I expect she could just by her significance - although you've got to wonder if people would believe it. But I suspect audiences are going to be a bit more pragmatic in their assessment of her world changing abilities. They'll simply ask 'well, she's pretty and she can fight a bit - although she just got her ass handed to her. How's she going to change the world? How does that work exactly?' It's a question that isn't handled well.

Perhaps the solution isn't to make her a superhero (and this would make it tricky then to explain how CLU managed to defeat the ISO's), but just emphasize the miraculous nature of the ISO's appearance more fully. This is glossed over far too quickly in the flashback scene. Frankly if it had been me, I would have made it clear that the ISO's appeared naked from the wastelands. In a PG way of course - silhouettes only and close camera cuts on safe body parts. The fact that they appear fully clothed makes them just seem like other programs albeit with a little more personality - even if they do have a strange symbol tattoo.

But the big problem I have with the film is the flight to the portal. it's rubbish.

It's also fundamentally confusing. When Sam makes it to Flynn's hideaway, the audience is shown repeated scenes of Jeff Bridges staring towards the distant city. It's effective - the city is a conglomerate of light. It's a focal point in the darkness. Suddenly however, we're shown another point of light (the portal) somewhere off who knows where and it's confusing. On my first viewing I confused it for another shot of the city and I suspect audience members did as well. I believe they should have kept the action between the two locations - Flynn's outpost and the city.
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See that bright spot? Yeah that's not the important one - there's another bright spot miles away that's even more important.

I suppose the advantage of having this third location is that it allowed the director to shoehorn in a solar sailor. Personally I think they should have kept that for the next film. I would much rather have seen the action go back to the city and stay there. In fact it would make more sense to me if the portal was in the city. Flynn built the system, why would he put its exit miles away? How did he normally get to the exit? Perhaps it's mentioned in all the exposition but if I've missed it, so will the audience.
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It's a nightclub but it should have been the portal...

After the quieter section in the outlands, they should have gone back to the city - let us see more of how the system works. The nightclub scene was good. It would have been evocative if the nightclub gave a view of the portal beam - so close yet so far. And if they'd kept the action in the city, it could have led to other more interesting things. In the nightclub scene for example, there's a throwaway reference to an underground resistance and a prophecy. That's interesting. They could have done so much more with that. Sam, Flynn and Quorra could have hooked up with the resistance who could help them reach the portal.
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Ah miss? Where's the zipper on this thing?

Suppose Clu's still building an army, but he's doing it in the upper levels of the city where he controls portal access. If he can get a few troops through, he can build an outpost and start to send more and more assets through. That would also avoid the problem of the audience wondering how the hell a bloody great ship full of troops and tanks could suddenly appear in the small room underneath Flynn's Arcade. Basic story fail on that count.

So the resistance help Flynn, Sam and Quorra make it to the portal after a number of thrilling capers in the city. The city is rebelling, the system's starting to go awry. Clu has assembled his army and has Flynn's disc. Things are looking grim. Flynn designed the system however, so as an act of desperation he hacks Clu's army, turns half of them to resistance members and there's a massive shitfight. Discs everywhere. The system's starting to fail - they have to get out and they have to stop Clu. Sam and Quorra fight their way through the struggling masses - Flynn's doing some freaky low level user shit because he's a user who built the system, not the rather powerless figure he is in the film. Then Clu forces his hand, and Flynn has to reintegrate. With Clu gone, Sam and Quorra escape through the portal. Then the system crashes massively. In the realworld Sam sees this on the computer desk readout. It then makes sense for him to switch off the system (after a backup). He doesn't flick the switch as he does in the film, sending all those programmes into oblivion without a moment's thought like an asshole.

Then the final scene is as it is in the movie. Much better.

And one other thing - Tron should have been much easier to discern. Keep the helmet but stick a distinctive pattern on his suit. There were times when it wasn't clear that it wasn't Tron I was looking at but one of Clu's other minions. Take the scene in the nightclub when the fighter takes the disc off Flynn's back. That's Tron I thought, that's something he'd do. Then he gets a hole through the head. What wait? That wasn't Tron? Basic design fail.

Let's hope they do better with the next film...

end of line
'I only have one rule. Everyone codes, no-one quits. You don't finish your game, I'll shoot you myself.' http://www.tankuniversal.com
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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby ADMIN » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:25 am

For a more, shall we say 'acerbic' viewpoint on the film than mine, also check out this link;
http://tronlegacyreview.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/tron-legacy-sucks/
'I only have one rule. Everyone codes, no-one quits. You don't finish your game, I'll shoot you myself.' http://www.tankuniversal.com
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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby Arsanthania » Fri Jun 03, 2011 2:49 am

well, i can say that this wasn't one of the best films in existence, but i DID like it, and i though it was pretty.

however, with the portal being miles away, Flynn didn't want programs to get out easily, so he built the city a long ways away, to keep this from happening. Flynn normally exits via train, as is showed by the flashback of when TRON is converted to Rinzler and Clu turns against Flynn; TRON tells Flynn that his train is ready and that he shouldn't push the exit time so close, in case something happens.


I think this movie was more to appeal to the more "nerd" audience than the true film bashing people, so it doesn't stand up to when people point out its plot and character flaws. But when you look at it with a visual and effects standpoint, it's one of the best I have ever seen.
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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby Scribble[SFD] » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:28 pm

Many of the points you bring out are due to the biggest problem with the film, the story is a bloody mess and horrible. And by story, I mean pretty much all of it. Major plot and subplots.

It was plain terrible.

I have watched Legacy a few times now too, and I *like* the film for the action sequences as they are really good. The light cycles and light jets battles were great. I can watch them again and again. The night club section was also really great.

However, the horrible mess of a story makes Legacy pale in comparsion to the original Tron which had a good overall story with subplots that made sense as well.

I agree with Madjack about Quorra too, she is one of the best things in the film (both as a character and eye candy ;3). The "problem" with her just is rooted with the above stated "mess of a story". So it isn't really Quorra's character's fault for that.

As an aside, I played through the Tron: Legacy game, and the story in that game was far a better than the movie (although not super great). The gameplay was okay-ish, but overall a fun game. Some of the action sequences in the game were just as great as the movie, for example the time when you have to drive the light cycle down the breaking up night club tower.

I hope they do make both another movie (there is already talk) and another game, both of which are a bit better, especially in the story department.

I say all this as a huge fan of the Tron series (since when the original was new in theaters). This is one big reason I am such a big fan of Tank Universal.

Which I will end noting that it was very disappointing that Legacy movie did not have any real tank action except for one driving through the city once.....
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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby ADMIN » Sun Jun 12, 2011 3:30 pm

Which I will end noting that it was very disappointing that Legacy movie did not have any real tank action except for one driving through the city once.....


There was the flashback scene where tanks are bombarding what is suggested as the home of the ISO's - but they're in the distance and difficult to see.

One problem with Syd Mead's original design is that there doesn't appear to be any vertical movement for the gun. If you notice in Tron 1 there are no external shots of a tank with its gun elevated.


Another random thought - you know why the Tron idea works with modern audiences? Because it's an update on 'visiting the fairy kingdom' theme. The idea that every so often an individual might stumble across the entrance to the fairy kingdom, experience adventures and wonders whilst taking the risk that they might never return tot heir home. And if they do return, they may find that years might have passed in the meantime. Tron is that myth updated for modern audiences.
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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby johno » Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:02 am

My couple of cents on the visual style...

Tron Legacy (and the game Tron Evolution) are cool and look good and all (especially the "shiny with some sparkly specular grit" textures that are in the game), but I find myself somewhat overwhelmed by the sameness and visual complexity of the look. Since there is so much reflection and transparency going on in the modern Tron look, I sometimes look at a wide-shot in the movie or in the game and find myself not being able to comprehend what I'm seeing. It just looks noisy and somewhat flat, even a touch of "wire-frame on black" feel.

For those of you who haven't played Tron 2.0 by Monolith I would heartily recommend it, due to the fact that they took the original Tron look and did what I feel was a decent upgrade without losing too much of the original feel. The original Tron always felt like it had a very "warm" look to it in my mind, and Tron 2.0 really has that too.

Of course, so does Tank Universal, deriving much love for that reason! :)

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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby Scribble[SFD] » Fri Jul 08, 2011 12:15 am

johno wrote:For those of you who haven't played Tron 2.0 by Monolith I would heartily recommend it, due to the fact that they took the original Tron look and did what I feel was a decent upgrade without losing too much of the original feel.


Well I like almost anything Tron related and that Monolith attempted to make a Tron game and even if the visual style was pretty good, the game itself and the gameplay was not that good IMO. I have still yet to actually finish the game since it feels like such a chore to play. It is very annoying to have to break up the action constantly by either having to do a defrag, get rid of a virus, organize powers, hunt for data cubes or solving some platform jump puzzle just to get to what might be a useless data cube.

So I don't defrag or virus scan my windows that often in the same sense that I don't play Tron 2.0 as they both are annoying chores....

And I am not just trying to bash, I really want to like any Tron game, but not Tron 2.0, and Monolith seems like it was always hit or miss on what their games were like. Shogo and FEAR were masterpieces while games like Tron 2.0 and FEAR 2 had serious problems.
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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby ADMIN » Sun Jul 10, 2011 12:15 am

Scribble

That was my feeling about Tron2.0 as well - the design was spot-on but the gameplay often boiled down to frustrting key hunts and maybe I was doing it wrong, but there was too much player insta-kill - at least in the initial stages for me to enjoy it.

Also, Tron was introduced as some sort of mummified code fragment(!) and then he was a monster and then you killed him! WTF???
As I was playing the impression I got was that the story had been cooked up by the game's programmers during their coffee breaks. Further, they introduced Alan Bradley into the virtual world for the first time. That should have been a big thing! Instead he gets told to stand in a corner while the player goes and finds yet more keys. Alan should at least have met his alter-ego. Makes me mad how productions like these manage to screw up basic dramatic possibilities.

johnno
At a pinch, I too like the older more colourful style. Proof in the pudding is that the original Tron world still looks attractive today. I would bet that Legacy will not age anywhere near as well as Tron1.0 has. Perhaps that's down to the fact that much of the first film's world was produced by artists through manual methods and they were reaching for a completely new style - not referencing previous sci-films (looking at you Matrix).

However perhaps they'll revamp the next film's look altogether as the virtual world in TL is from a 20 year old system...

BTW, here's the two bumblef*cks mostly responsible for the mess that was TL's storyline - although I understand there were at least 2 other writers as well. Perhaps that's part of the problem these days - everything's written by committee and the truly daring gets washed out in the process.
The nerds have grown up and are now writing movies.
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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby Arsanthania » Sun Jul 10, 2011 3:02 pm

However perhaps they'll revamp the next film's look altogether as the virtual world in TL is from a 20 year old system...


this.

I liked TL's visual style a ton, but I agree, it might not age as well.

I personally prefer something in between...something like TU, as well as my own game series that I'm working on: Neon Tanks
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Re: Tron Legacy - a few thoughts

Postby ADMIN » Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:30 am

Arsanthania

Downloaded the current build of neon tanks.

Interesting but it is difficult to tell exactly what's going on!
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